Local legend John ‘Roothy’ Rooth has put the prawn curry aside to join the ranks of 4X4 Australia.
Guess who's got a new gig?? You beauty - made it at last!Posted by Roothy on Friday, July 17, 2015
Kicking off his four-wheel drive career in 1970, Roothy has finally become a regular in 4X4 Australia, alongside the likes of Ron and Viv Moon, Steve Starling, Dean Mellor and Fraser Stronach, who Roothy says is “one of the fastest guys in Australia”.
“The people who really know their stuff are in 4X4 Australia and despite that, they are letting me in there, too,” he says.
As part of his residency, Roothy will give us bite-sized tales from the bush and his time driving ‘Milo’, the green Toyota Land Cruiser.
They’ll be celebrating out on the mud flats, for sure.
Some words from Roothy:
G’day, fellow four-wheel drivers. My name’s John Rooth. I’ve been around a while. My off-road career kicked off back in the early 1970s when I worked as a bridge carpenter in the bush. Pretty soon I was handling most of the service and repair work because tickets, like workplace health and safety, weren’t things anyone had heard of back then.
A bloke had to do the things he was good at, or that nobody else wanted to do.
This was followed by a session at university, then history teaching, before heading bush again to go mining.
For most of the 1980s my brother Nick and I worked the bush, prospecting or paying for it with stints running shearing teams, harvesting, working on the cotton and fixing whatever the cockies had busted last. We even did some time on the roads – possibly a tad more comfortably than the convict side of my family.
Nick and I hit the city in the late 1980s, me to take up a job testing motorcycles for Two Wheels magazine. We both worked in publishing in Sydney before shifting north to Queensland in the 1990s. I’ve spent the last 20 years as a trail bike tour guide and a freelance journo; finding ways to support the family (mostly from a distance).
These days I’m back doing DVDs with my mates from LowRange, track-testing products with Opposite Lock and doing my bit to open up the bush by being the spokesman for Unlock Australia. I’m still playing with trucks and motorbikes every chance I get – as long as they’re pre-1984 and I can understand them.
There’s a variety of trucks in my workshop, including a bunch of old Toyota 40s, a restored WWII Jeep and my product testing rig: a 76 Series Toyota that cranks 200kW. They’ve all got lockers but only the 76 has air-con.
I’ll use these pages to share stories on the tracks and places we visit, the people we meet, and the gear we use on our trips. There’s an endless sea of interesting stuff out there and I’m happy to bring it to the pages of 4X4 Australia.
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